Summary: The blond blacksmith sat down on her couch and got right back up, forgetting his clothes were wet from the storm. "I think I wetted your couch…" Claire looked at him wide eyed; "You peed on my couch!?" Welcome to a world of awkward situations.
A/N: This is Claire's point of view during my other story, Pretty Ore. You don't have to read Pretty Ore to know what is going on, as I will write everything from the beginning. I would however, advise you to go read the story Pretty Ore first, or even view my animations on YouTube (just type in 'Pretty Ore' on YouTube, you'll definitely find them).
The summary might make it seem like this is a comedy story, I assure you it's not. It's a story of awkwardness and overcoming obstacles. The awkwardness might seem funny to some though.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, I claim fair use!
Chapter 1 – Pretty Flower
It was horrible. There were dead weeds all over the place, cluttering the big field. There were rocks scattered about, along with some tree branches, as if someone purposely placed them there. Everything was just laughing at her; they were all plotting together to make her life even worse than it already was. How in the world did she sign up for this dump? The ad said it was a nice, livable farm. There was nothing nice about the weed that was the size of a small tree, or the rocks that looked like a giant mushroom. Absolutely nothing was nice about this scene; it was utter chaos. Yet, she bought it. She bought the farm, along with the ugly field of weeds. It's not like she could just go back to her old life, no – she already sold her own apartment so she could enjoy the farm life! This just wasn't the farm life she was hoping for; she was kind of hoping for singing birds and colourful flowers. Like in Snow White, except there are no seven dwarfs.
Claire sighed loudly as she dropped herself on the grass, staring emptily at her field. Of all the things she was expecting, she wasn't expecting to be put up with a farm that looked like a bunch of bulls wrecked the place and no one cared enough about it to clean it up. Not only was the farm utterly disgusting to her; she also had no more money left! She spent all of her savings just to buy this place, so now she was dirt poor. Claire had to figure out a way to make money fast, as she needed to buy food for herself.
The girl lied down in the grass, thinking of options she had to earn some money. She could apply for a part-time job while she cleaned her field to make it workable. That didn't sound that great to her, she didn't want to work twice as hard just to get by; no, she was way too lazy for that.
The blonde girl got up and started walking around her farm, noticing that there was a pathway leading from her farm to some place she hadn't been yet. Claire, curious and bored, skipped along the path to discover what was behind her farm. A nagging feeling in Claire's mind told her she should stop being such a procrastinator and start working on her farm, but she blissfully ignored that voice. The path lead her out to a clearing, with a few trees here and there. Claire followed the path and finally arrived at something that was interesting. It was a hot spring, and it seemed it was in pretty bad shape, like no one actually took care of it. The girl shrugged and walked over to the little pond across it. Her blue eyes stared at the waterfall, feeling a little less stressed about her situation now that she was looking at a calm waterfall.
It was then that she noticed the big hole in the rocky mountain. Curiosity got the best of her when she saw there was a small light coming from the inside. What could it be? Was it some sort of mine? Claire walked over to the entrance and peered inside; she vaguely wondered if coyote's would be sleeping in there. She couldn't see much, as the dim light could only do so much. She walked into the cave, finding it quite eerie and creepy. The ground was soft, but had a few rocks sticking out of it. There were wooden bars supporting the cave, and they went deeper into the cave as Claire walked through it, trying to find the source of that light.
The sudden voice made Claire almost jump out of her own skin; her heart was beating fast and unsteady. Thinking it was a coyote at first, she quickly hid behind one of the wooden bars to look over to where the noise came from. There, not far from herself, was the source of the light. It was a little old fashioned lantern sitting on a rock. The owner of the lantern stood not too far from it. Clad in beige work clothes, the man held a hammer in his hand while panting hard. Claire mentally smacked herself, finding it silly she thought this man was a coyote at first. The man lifted up his silver hammer and brought it down on the rock which was already crumbling. The sound of the hammer making contact with the rock was almost deafening, it was that loud.
"Ha …" he panted loudly while he wiped off some sweat of his forehead with his sleeve. Claire noticed the unusual blue cap he was wearing, with letters on them. Before she could read what they said, the man lifted up his hammer once more to smash the rock.
"Come on!" he yelled at it. Once more, he smashed the hammer against the rock, but it just wasn't crumbling anymore. He didn't give up though; he smashed it again and again, and even kicked the rock with his shoe, which earned the rock a few curse words.
Claire felt bad for this stranger; he was trying his best to get whatever was on the inside of the rock. It made her feel guilty, to know she was lazing off while another person worked hard to get what he wanted. She knew she couldn't avoid having to clean up her farm, but it was so much work that she felt depressed even thinking about it. Did she really have to return to that crappy farm and face reality? Claire shook her head; nah – she could just stare at this stranger working hard, as if he were working hard for her!
"Aha!" Sounded the triumph word coming from the man. In his hand, he held a small lump of silver substance. Claire figured it was a silver ore.
It took her a while to realize the significance of this; this mine was filled with silver, and who knows what else! Claire's heart skipped around with joy; she could just mine the silver out of this mine and sell it for some easy cash. Now she didn't have to worry about being poor anymore, all she needed was a hammer and a rock, then everything else should be easy. If that man could mine some silver, then she could too! Claire quickly left the mine to go back home, where there was a toolbox that had an old hammer in it. She knew that rusty old hammer that came with the farm might come in handy. Happily, she took it out and went back to the mine.
When she arrived, she realized that the stranger wasn't there anymore, and neither was the source of light. Claire groaned inside herself, smacking her head when she realized she didn't have a flashlight while standing inside of a very dark cave. She went back to her home to search for a flashlight.
There was a long day ahead of her.
A day had passed and Claire had fallen asleep on her old bed. Yesterday, she had managed to get one lump of copper, which really took hours for her to get. How did that guy made it seem so easy? All he did was smash it a few times, and poof, out rolled the silver ore. Claire had to smash it over a hundred times, kick it, hit it, slap it – anything she could think of, when she finally managed to pry it out with her hands. Right now, her fingers felt sore, not to mention her muscles were aching in her whole body. Maybe she wasn't fit to be a miner, as she had little to no strength. This just made her think how unfit she was to run this damaged farm. Claire sighed inside of her pillow an rolled over to get out of her bed.
A growl from her stomach indicated that she was very, very hungry. She hadn't eaten anything after she went on her little road trip to Mineral Town. Meaning, today she was very hungry and needed food very badly. Claire sighed when she realized the refrigerator was empty, as she had to throw all food away because it would go bad during her road trip. How was she going to eat now? She had no money, all she had was a lump of copper.
Claire thought to herself; how was she going to sell this thing anyway? Maybe she was lucky and there was a jewelry store around here, or maybe a flea market of some sorts. Anything that would accept materials and would actually pay her for it. Without any hesitation, Claire walked out of her new home, determined to sell that lump of copper. With the copper safely tucked away in her orange backpack, Claire walked out of her farm and followed the road. It didn't take long until she saw a building with smoke coming out of it. A sign was nailed to the building, reading; BLACKSMITH. Claire could jump around for joy; she couldn't be any luckier! There was a Blacksmith right around the corner!
The blonde pushed the door open, and heard a bell ring twice to alert the arrival of a new costumer. Smoke filled her nostrils and Claire scrunched up her nose; not really liking this smell. In front of her was a small counter, it was dirty and stained with grease marks. Behind it was an old looking man. He looked quite intimidating with his tiny little eyes as he stared her down. Claire gulped, wondering if this was such a good idea in the first place.
"Hello, are you new here?" he said with a voice that sounded much nicer than he looked like.
Claire stepped towards the counter, feeling his eyes following her every movement, it was making her nervous.
"Yes, I'm the new owner of the farm," she said, admiring her own courage for talking to such an intimidating man. "My name is Claire."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Saibara, the blacksmith. Did you come to buy anything?"
Claire swallowed, now she had to explain to him that she wasn't some costumer he could earn money off. No, she wanted to make money off of him. Which didn't seem that plausible anymore. How could that grumpy old looking man ever accept her silly copper ore in exchange for money? Maybe it wasn't too late to get out of here. Then again, the creepy stare of the old man rooted Claire to the ground. She smiled at him nervously.
"Actually … I thought you could buy something from me."
There was something moving in the corner of her eye that made her look behind the old man. A much younger man, clad in the same beige clothes she had seen yesterday, was secretly pushing away shattered pieces of glass into his hand. Swiftly, he put them in his pants, while pretending no one saw it. Claire recognized that this was the same person she had seen yesterday in the mine.
"And what would that be?" asked the old man. He lowered his bushy grey eyebrows at her.
Claire quickly took out her lump of copper and placed it on the counter.
"Oho! I see, I see," said Saibara enthusiastically. He started to examine every little detail in the copper ore, propping a little microscope in his eye to aid him with his scrutinizing. He twisted and turned the copper around, scanning the whole surface of it. He then proceeded to hit it with a small iron bar, to listen to the sound it was making.
The whole examination was making Claire even more nervous than she already was. "O-okay, enough examining, it's real. I just wanted to know if you would buy it from me."
Saibara gave a deep, long grunt, pondering his options. "Normally my grandson does these things – but he always messes up – so yes, I would like to buy this from you. Would you be interested in delivering me these every day?"
Claire could have screamed for joy when she heard he would buy the copper from her. Not only that, he actually offered to buy it from her every single day! This way she could easily earn money to renovate her farm, and of course, pay for her food she so desperately needed. However, her joy was short lived, as she was pushed out of the way by someone who was much stronger than her. Claire stumbled about and jerked her head to glare at the person who shoved her. It was the stranger from the mine.
"What!?" the guy yelled, his blue eyes fiercely glaring at the old man.
"Gray, you shall not hurt the costume-"
"Why do you link every conversation to me!? Why must you always criticize me for every little thing that I do – I wasn't even part of the conversation!"
He slammed his hand down on the desk, which made Claire jump. So this was the guy that she kind of looked up to, because he could mine so much more easier than she could? This was just a really angry guy, a guy who shoved her out of his way no less. Claire kept her mouth shut as the two continued to bicker back and forth.
"I'm leaving!" The guy with the cap stormed out of the blacksmith, loudly smashing the door into the wall.
"Don't mind him, that's just my grandson Gray. He tends to screw things up." The old man took a deep breath.
"So, I'll give you 30 dollars for this copper ore. You can bring me any other ore, as long as it's either copper, silver, gold or even mystrile. I expect you to come here every day to deliver them to me." His voice was so stern and strict, that Claire couldn't possibly say no to this man. Not after she witnessed how he could easily flip off his own grandson without caring about it at all.
Claire quickly nodded and took the cash from the man, then quickly left the Blacksmith. While she stood on the red bricked path, she caught a glimpse of Saibara's grandson walking away. Claire stared at the bricks on the ground, feeling kind of sorry for him. She knew he had successfully mined a silver ore yesterday, so she didn't know why the old guy said he would screw up. All she could do was spend hours trying to get a copper ore loose from a rock. Maybe she could get some tips from him or something. Then, for some reason, her feet started to walk towards the direction he left in. Claire didn't know why, but she wanted to talk to this guy. He seemed interesting to her, yet dangerous. Claire thought about a few moments ago, when he easily shoved her aside. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to talk to a man who pushed strangers out of his path.
Claire's feet stopped when she saw this Gray person stand in front of a big board. They were standing in a big town's square, with benches placed along the green hedges. Out of nowhere, he punched the board with his bare fist, not even flinching at the pain he got upon impact. Claire was slightly backing up, finding this an extremely angered man. It was then that she noticed that he took something out of his pocket. Whatever it was, he threw it on the ground. It sounded like glass, it was that same glass he hid in his pocket when she stepped inside of the Blacksmith.
"You shouldn't litter the place like that." Claire had no idea what made her speak up, it just kind of came out like a reflex when she saw him littering the ground.
He turned around to face her, and Claire saw his angered blue eyes staring down at her. She could see a glimpse of his blond hair before he quickly hid his face underneath his blue cap when he realized that it was her. They stood in the same spot while an awkward silence stretched through the air.
"Are you looking for an apology?" he asked softly, refusing to look her in the eye. Claire said nothing, but rose her eyebrow instead.
"I … I'm sorry I pushed you earlier," he said in a low voice, almost as if he were mumbling.
Claire gave him a small smile; recognizing the awkwardness of his apology. She knew what it felt like to stand in that spot and apologize to people.
"You're the new one, right? The one from the farm?"
Claire casted her eyes downward, thinking about her bad looking farm, which she hadn't done a thing about yet.
"Yes I am…" she said shyly, feeling embarrassed that everyone was recognizing her as the new farmer who's farm looked like crap.
He tipped his cap towards her. "The name's Gray."
"It's nice to meet you, but I have to go back to work now. See yah."
Gray, the blacksmith, left the town's square. Claire stayed behind and stared at the glass pieces laying on the ground. Suddenly, it started to rain, drenching Claire with water. For the moment, she didn't care, she was too hungry to move quickly out of the rain, so she opted to stare at the glass pieces disappear into the drain one by one. Her hair became wet and stuck to her face. The girl merely shrugged and started to walk.
It's time to buy some food.